The Visiting Scholars Program seeks to engage students, faculty and staff across disciplinary, institutional, and political boundaries. Visiting scholars come to the center from all over the world to conduct independent research on issues related to governance and sustainability. We host scholars and practitioners from academia, governments, and NGOs.
Sebastião Velasco e Cruz is a Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the State University of Campinas, Unicamp (Brazil). He is currently the President of the Center for the Study of Contemporary Culture (CEDEC) and is a founding member and coordinator of the National Institute of Science and Technology for Studies on the United States. The institute is part of a Brazilian government-sponsored research network aimed at funding high quality research groups in crucial areas of national development.
Professor Velasco has focused his career on studying the interactions between political and economic processes. Through this conceptual lens, he has researched topics such as chronic political instability in Argentina and the role of businessmen in the Brazilian transition away from authoritarianism. Additionally, he has extensively researched the Brazilian government’s failed attempts at implementing industrial policy strategies amidst the political and economic turmoil of the 1980s. Professor Velasco has developed this line of inquiry into a comprehensive project on world economic restructuring and market-oriented reforms in developing countries.
An author of several articles and books, two of which were awarded in national contests, Professor Velasco has just finished a collection of essays on American foreign policy. He is currently completing another set on the WTO and the regulation of the global economy. He has received two doctorates, one from the Political Science Department at the University of São Paulo (USP), and another from I.E.P. Paris/Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques. He has been a Visiting Scholar in the Center for Latin American Studies at Stanford University, and has worked as a Visiting Professor at the University of Paris X (Nanterre) and Paris I (Sorbonne).
During his time at UMass Boston, Professor Velasco will continue his research on the current debate of the American Grand Strategy, with a particular focus on the discourse in the upcoming presidential race. The aim of this project is to attentively observe the on-going debate concerning the “big picture” of US international strategy in the American foreign policy community. The objective is to examine how the relevant actors in this field –government bodies, congressional commissions, and think tanks – perceive the long-term role of the United States in the international sphere. Of particular concern is how these foreign policy actors define threats to US national interest, how they rank those threats, and policy recommendations for addressing them.
Professor Velasco intends to closely follow US policy toward the Middle East and the discussions surrounding climate change. The research will focus on the policy orientation of the United States, but will also consider how relevant international actors interpret US policy. This research will then be analyzed and applied to understanding Brazil’s developmental and foreign policy.